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Friday, November 11, 2011

Levon Jihanian did Bill Keane

Bill Keane, creator of The Family Circus, died this week. In some ways I love the Family Circus. I read it every day.  But I've probably spent more time making fun of the Family Circus than enjoying it as a comic. Love him or laugh at him, anyone who devotes their life to the pursuit of comics deserves a lot of respect in my book.  And now that I think of it, I've probably laughed harder at how bland Family Circus is than I have at just about anything else in newspaper comics... So, in a way, it is kinda the funniest strip in the paper. Maybe Bill Keane is the most unintentionally funny cartoonist of all time?

Anyway... Last year the incomparable Levon Jihanian did these two amazing Family Circus inspired pieces for the Bound & Gagged book (available in my store - i know that's crass, but just wait till the real book publishers start exploiting his death). Levon is a genius. These are bleak masterpieces. And in their own way, a tribute to Keane's work.


R.I.P. Bill Keane

thanks for all the laughs!


2 comments:

Limpey said...

I remember that seeing someone who took 'Family Circus' panels and paired them with randomly selected quotes from Nietzsche... as someone who finds both Bill Keane's and Nietzsche's 'philosophies' oppressive in their own ways, this seemed pretty good to me. There was another guy who took 'Family Circus' panels and added in comments about felching and reach-arounds and other sophomoric humor until Bill Keane wrote him and asked him to stop... and he did.

I found 'The Family Circus' to about as inspiring as Hummel figurines... the only thing that was worse was the comic, "Love is..." which featured two little kewpie doll people coupled with some sappy little phrase out of a Hallmark card. When I was a little older, I wanted to send in the suggestion of "Love is... offering to sleep on the wet spot," but never got around to it. Another missed opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Steve Pastis, who (semi)darkly parodies Family Circus in his own strip, gave a tribute of his own. It was touching, genuine and funny, given by someone who skewered Keane's strip with his own humor, but respected him nonetheless.

That being said, yes, Levon Jihanian's version was awesome, yes.